tv Inside Story Al Jazeera November 14, 2013 11:30am-12:01pm EST
it happens. and bring it to you live. equality movement hits a new movement in america. that's on "inside story." >> hello, i'm ray suareza. when the governor of hawai'i signed same-sex marriage into law wins it brought the issue full circle to where it began. it was 1991 when a woman sued to have the right to marry her partner. since that lawsuit the pace of
change towards same-sex marriage is nothing short of astonishing. on this edition of "inside story" we're going to discuss this sweeping social change including the fact that a majority of states still limit marriages to heterosexual couples. hawai'i became the 15th state in the u.s. to recognize same-sex marriage on wednesday. [applause] approved in the state senate and signed by democratic governor neil abercrombie. it overrules the limitation of marriage on the island state. >> we stand on the principles of equality and justice and liberty for all mostly we stand on the principle that all marriages are now equal. >> reporter: earlier this month illinois' legislature also passed the same-sex marriage bill.
now it's in the hand of democratic governor pat quinn, who is expected to sign the measure into law soon. >> at the end of the day all we're talking about is treating each family with the same equal law. >> reporter: in october new jersey's supreme court unanimously decided it would begin recognizing same-sex marriages, too, rejecting appeals to delay the position. >> marriages are equal in new jersey? >> reporter: a move where governor chris christie dropped his opposition. a statement from his office:
these three latest join a growing list of states in the midst of changes to marriage law. today 15 states plus the direct district of columbia see same-sex marriage as legal, and ten regular civil unions an partnerships. and 30 have included outright ban against gay marriage. today, more than a third of the u.s. population lives in states that recognize gay marriage. >> more people leave congress and newer people step in who are from our generation. i think if it's not changed now or sometime soon it will be changed then. >> according it
, 57% of americans were opposed to legalizing marriages for gay and lesbian couples. but now the majority in 2013 support gay marriage with 53% and 43% against. the first lawsuit filed came from hawai'i 20 years ago. congress passed the defense of marriage act or doma, and this year the supreme court struck down doma ruling that it was unconstitutional to deny marriage rights. >> today i get to look at the man that i love and finally say, will you please marry me? >> reporter: the verdict opened
the doors to a flood of federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. now they can file federal taxes jointly, share social security retirement and not pay an estate tax if they're the surviving spouse and sponsor a green card. six states still refuse to give benefits to the national guard. each say it conflicts with their own state law. one of those states is texas where governor rick perry's office said the texas national guard is a state agency, and as such is ply kateed to adhere to the texas constitution and the laws of this state which clearly define marriage as between one man and one woman. marriage licenses are usually
accepted in all states without question, but for same-sex couples state by state moves are still complex and limited. >> joining us now to talk about the new law in hawai'i is nania bear, the first american to sue for her right to marry her partner. here we are 25 years later. when you first embarked on this, did you imagine that it would take this long? >> i could not have foreseen what was going to happen. i will say that the day we actually applied for a marriage license in 1990 we really thought we might get one. when we didn't, my partner always thought we were going to win. i don't know that she thought it was going to take this long, but it's very sweet to finally be here . >> were lawyers ready to take on your case in the early 90s? were they encouraging about your
prospects of success? >> no, we were not very sophisticated. this was not part of organized effort. we were in love. we wanted to get married. we applied for a license. at that time there was no organization gay or otherwise, that was willing to represent us. the aclu did submit friend of the court briefs. they were the first group on board, but we went with dan foley, a wonderful constitutional lawyer who was in private practice, and he will always be a hero to me. >> what changed? and were the things that happened along the way that encouraged you that this really was going to end in a result where hawaiians will be able to get married in same-gender couples? >> you know, we won in court with the hawai'i supreme court.
apparently the public of hawai'i was not ready for it yet, and so amended the constitution to say that the legislature could limit marriage to a man and a woman. and as a result the case did not change the law at that time. the change in public opinion has been enormous. 23 years is a very long time in my lifetime, but in terms of gaining civil rights and changing public opinion the change has been very fast and quite gratifying to see. >> how do you say that, though. when you see the earth shifting 23 years and a long time in my
>> you're listening to a news conference unfolding on capitol hill now, and the news coming out of the house came when speaker boehner announced that there will not be an immigration bill in the house, with the senate passing sweeping immigration reform. and the house was expected to put the two together. but speaker boehner saying that's not going to happen before the end of the year. the days are running out on capitol hill. and let's hear more of what speaker boehner has to say. >> i'm opposed to continuing this. listen, i understand people have different opinions on this issue, and i respect those opinions. but as someone who has worked in this employment law area for all of my years in the statehouse and all of my years here, i see no basis or no need for this. there's a whole laundry list of
issues to finish, and i hope it will be. >> reporter: are you saying that it will be an issue again? a lot more revelation? >> i don't know that in the national it defense authorization bill that that issue ought to be dealt with. it ought to be it dealt with on its own. it's a very important issue. what the nsa does, protecting the american people and protects our allies around the world. yes, i think there are changes that need to be made. but they need to be made in a very thoughtful way. very. >> reporter: the obama administration is encouraging congress to hold off on sanctions on iran, and you have already passed sanctions on iran, and do you think that there's anier virtue in holding off on the sanctions while negotiations are going on in the country? >> we have been down this road
with iran many times, and until the iranians are willing to stop all development of their nuclear program, there's no reason for us to lift these sanctions. the house has already acted on further sanctions, or as i described them, further tools for the administration's toolbox. it's over in the senate and i'll leave that decision to the senate. >> reporter: speaker boehner, you talked about obamacare, to deal with this one issue, and will the house vote on a bill to replace obamacare? >> well, this year is quickly coming to a close. i think it's too early to make that prediction. pure and simple. you know, when we -- when obamacare was on the floor of the house, 3 and a half years ago, we offered an alternative. and you can go to gop.gov, and
you can see the nine issues that are oled there that we have -- outlined there that we have been for in the last five years. they're common sense things that help the american people for better access to high quality, and better health insurance, and that's what we ought to be doing. >> you've been listening to house speaker, john
boehner, a news conference a short a while ago. the breaking news coming out this morning, senator boehner saying that the reform bill, passed by the senate. and also saying a short time ago to reporters, that if changes are made to the federal affordable care act, there's no guarantee that the changes will be vod on by the house. speaker boehner saying that there may not be enough time. we're awaiting word from the white house concerning the news that there will be changes made.
it has to do with the promise made over and over again in the campaign by president obama that if you liked your insurance plan, you would be able to keep it. that has led to a rather contentious battle in the nation's capital. it began a month ago when cath leap sebelius was called to capitol hill to tell congress what would happen when
the rogout melted down, and then just two days ago, we heard from former president, bill clinton, who had this to say. >> i personally believe, even if it takes changing the law, the president should honor the commitment that the federal government made to those people and what they got. >> that lead us to where we are today and the president is expected to announce shortly that there will be changes made. and look at the president's approval ratings. right now, just 39%, according to the latest polls, those being
his lowest approval rating ever, and the lowest ever for a president on record. the other numbers that everybody is watching right now, the number of people signing up and they were dismal. >> there were certainly a lot less than president obama, who is believed who have liked to have seen. but you know, del,s this a precedent for this thing, and the number is shocking. 106,000. and the white house is talking about 7 million people who have signed up by 2014. and for that, you need to have scores of thousands of, 40,000 people a day almost need to sign up for healthcare, and this figure is far, far short of that. but all lost. because as you know, this website is extremely complicated. they're working on it. and it's the president's signature piece of legislation, and they're determined to get it right. and they will point you in the direction of massachusetts, where governor mitt romney, back in 2006, rolled out something that's very very similar to
this. of course, it's way, way smaller in massachusetts, because you're just dealing with one state. but nonetheless, the whole of obamacare, as we saw in the election last year, is based on what mitt romney did, and that's one of the things that caused him so much problem in the campaign. in massachusetts, at the end of the first month, how many people do you think signed up? it was 123, so it's not very many at all. at the end of the first year, when it became clear to everybody in massachusetts that you have to sign up for healthcare, 36,000 had signed up. but the really interesting figure up in massachusetts is the 36,000, so one fifth of that number signed up at the 11th hour. almost to the last minute of the 11th month. and so that's what the white house is going to say today. that there's time. it has happened before.
and it will probably happen this way. but it will be interesting to see what these changes will be from president obama. and i think when you have the elder statesman of the democratic party saying that he did a couple of days ago, changes are on the way. >> and it happens to be -- >> and the contender. >> the operative word currentlying out of washington right nowish is spin. and the white house saying that there have been more than a million visiters to the website if it they managed to get through, all will be well. as we wait, we're going to take a break.
paf we're with >> there is nown that he is going to allow you to be able to do just that. even though millions of americans were complaining that their it insurance was canceled. as we wait, we want to tell you what else is happening around the world. and as we mentioned, president obama will address the nation within the hour, and he's going to talk about the problems with the affordable care act. and we also want to tell you right now what's happening in the philippines. the memorandum coming in just a moment from the white house, telling us that the website has been shut down, and the philippines, the death toll is at 3,857. and aid is reaching the country, but it's not being handed out fast enough.
and more body bags have been brought in to bury the dead. after the government shutdown, the disastrous roll out of healthcare.gov, the president is losing support. and some of those who abandoned ship are his most ardent supporters. 59% of americans desapprove of his job. and that's the lowest ever. and john boehner said that even if changes are made, there may not be time left in the house in their term to get anything done before the end of the year before they go to holiday break. john, you were talking about those numbers. 106,000 people signed up. >> i think obviously from the white house's point of view, the glass is very much half full. and i think 1 million people toying with the idea of signing
up is a good sign. and in massachusetts, in 2006, something very it similar happened among the people of massachusetts, and it wasn't until the 11th hour that they it signed up. we didn't see the technical issues. this is a huge web sight. it is not the kind thole that yu would set up. >> this is supposed to be part of the new generation. he had the blackberry and he had the twitter account. and he reached out to the younger generation. he was supposed to be young, hip and tech savvy and obviously not the caseful. >> everything has gone wrong from the beginning, but they're trying to get this right. and one of the things worth bearing in mind, we're going to see what he has to say about the issue of canceled policies and
not being able. with bill clinton, the changes are on the way, and what's worth bearing in mind, a lot of these healthcare policies do change every year. so the people that had a healthcare policy in 2010, when the law came into being, those healthcare policies have changed anyway. so many people would not have the policy today that they would have in 2010. and a lot of the policies as well are not very good policies. so it's possible that people might go to the website, sign up and end up with care under the affordable care act, what we call obamacare, and they will find that they have better healthcare than at the moment. but the point is well made. for the president of the united states, if you want to keep your
healthcare policy, you can keep it, and the fact that that turns out to not be true for many americans, it's quite politically damaging. >> george h. bush said, read my lines. over and over again. and here's a president that doesn't need to be reelected again. >> we want to take a listen to what house speaker, nancy pelosi, majority leader said, she offered an alternative to the affordable care act. >> this republican initiative would undermine healthcare reform laws and causing premiums in the marketplace to spike, according to the center for budget and policy priorities. it's opposed by a broad coalition of groups. the american heart association, and diabetes association, american cancer society, action network, national partnership for women and families, and
paralyzed veterans of america, to name a few. >> nancy pelosi being the former speaker of the house, and she indicated that she would like her old job back, and problems concerning the affordable care act. >> president clinton yesterday made clear that he thought president obama should keep his promise. president has an opportunity over the next week to keep his promise. we're going to move a bill through the house this week, and i'm optimistic that the senate begins to see momentum over there to move a similar bill. this is not about politics. this is about real people in our districts that are being harmed by obamacare. it's time to fix this law. >> and that is why we're watching this scene right now, the president telling the press that the president would speak at 11:35, and the news coming
out of washington is supposed to be that the president has a fix. some way that he's going to keep that promise. you heard speaker boehner mention the former president, bill clinton, a moment ago, and this is what he had to say. >> i personally believe, even if it makes a change to the law. >> the republicans say that this is a free country, and if they don't like it, they should be able to keep it, even if the white house doesn't think that it's good for one or the other? >> president of the united states has said so many times, if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it.
and that's his mantra. as we have seen in the last couple of days, it has been played over and over again on the television and the radio. and it's a be credibility issue. the man doesn't need to be reelected again, he's in his second term. but nonetheless, this is his key signature policy. and when you have 1 million people flirting with the idea of signing up, but only one-third of those who have, are the 106,000 who have signed up so far, according to the administration. they did it through the website, and that's a real problem. you have those two issues. the low numbers at the moment and now, millions of americans are wondering if they should keep it. and politically, it's highly charged. not for the president, but we have the mid terms a year from now. >> we're keeping our eye on washington right now, and suspecting the president to
speak any moment concerning changes to the affordable care act. and the president said that he will allow people to do exactly what they would be able to do, if they like or like their insurance, they should be able to keep it. >> entire media culture is driven by something that's very very fast... >> there has been a lack of fact based, in depth, serious journalism, and we fill that void... >> there is a huge opportunity for al jazeera america to change the way people look at news. >> we just don't parachute in on a story...quickly talk to a couple of experts and leave... >> one producer may spend 3 or 4 months, digging into a single story... >> at al jazeera, there are resources to alow us as
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welcome to al jazeera america. president obama says at any moment on all of the trouble of the affordable care ability. act. there is relief in the fill babiephilippines whether it's cg slow. the government says it's moving too slowly . we are a waiting for the president to speak on the affordable care act. >> the president expected to announce a plan to follow through on the promise he repeatedly made during the campaign about the